School Rules & Scoring

USA Cheer Membership Requirement

USA Cheer Membership

All school coaches, choreographers and personnel wishing to access the warmup area, backstage or coaches’ box must have a USA Cheer Membership.  At least one coach, preferably the head coach, must have the Cheer Coach Membership.  The Cheer Coach, STUNT Coach or Professional Membership is acceptable for all other personnel.

When checking in at Varsity Spirit competitions, you will now simply provide proof of membership for each person from your organization who wishes to go into the warmup area, backstage or coaches’ box. Upon proof of membership, each coach will receive a wristband that will allow them access.

Complete Membership Requirement

High School, Junior High, Middle School, Elementary

School Divisions

View 2024-2025 Divisions

Crowd Leading Divisions

  • Routine Length: 2:30 minutes (Music up to 1:45 minutes)
  • Levels: Novice, Intermediate, Advanced
  • Grade Levels: Junior High/Middle School, Junior Varsity/Freshmen, Varsity, Coed Varsity, Non-Building, Non-Tumbling, Junior Club
  • These divisions offer the best of both worlds! Crowd Leading divisions emphasizes crowd leading ability with crowd effective material. Routines in these divisions will still include transitional stunts and pyramids but the cheer section will encourage a crowd response as if you were leading the fans at an actual game! Teams can use all sideline appropriate props such as signs, poms and megaphones in their routines.

Performance Divisions

  • Routine Length: 2:30 minutes (Music up to 1:45 minutes)
  • Levels: Novice, Intermediate, Advanced
  • Grade Levels: Junior High/Middle School, JV/Freshmen, Varsity, Coed Varsity
  • Does your team excel in skills and performance environments? NCA Performance divisions showcase the athleticism of cheerleading with a focus on visual elements. Teams competing in these divisions have routines that consist of transitional stunts, pyramids and a cheer. The cheer does not have to encourage crowd participation.

Game Day Divisions

  • Routine Length: 3:00 minutes
  • Grade Levels: Junior High/Middle School, Junior Varsity/Freshmen, Varsity
  • Bring your sidelines to the spotlight in an NCA Game Day Division! Teams combine their Band Chant, Game Day Cheer, and Fight Song along with a Game Day situational response to showcase in one 3:00 minute performance. Game Day divisions are the perfect way to transition material you already have and practice on the sidelines for the national floor. Cheer teams also have the option to bring their dancers, mascots and band members to compete in the Game Day Rally division (previously called Spirit Program Division). This division celebrates how spirit programs work together to enhance their school Game Day and Rally experience!

School Rules & Restrictions

2024-2025 School Rule Book:

2024-2025 Legality Verification:

School Stunt & Pyramid Progressions

2024-2025 Stunt Progressions:

2024-2025 Pyramid Progressions:

School Scoring Guidelines & Score Sheets

2024-2025 School Scoring Guidelines:

2023-2024 School Division Overview:

2024-2025 School Score Sheet Samples:


College Divisions

2024 College Cheer Divisions:

2024 College Game Day Division:

College Rules & Restrictions

2024 NCA & NDA Collegiate Rule Book:

USA Cheer College Safety Rules:

NEW! Competition Resources

Criteria for Selecting Judges

Judges selected for one of our regional events should meet these standards

  • Have no direct affiliation with any team/gym who will be attending (or potentially will be attending) in a division they will judge. This includes coaching, choreographing, cleaning, etc.
  • Must be available for pre-event training via webinar at a time/date to be determined
  • Must pass and be trained and educated in one or more of the category scoresheets that are used for judging.
  • Must be of the highest ethical and moral values. Must possess and maintain the highest standards of integrity, ethics and professionalism.
  • Must complete Varsity Spirit Compliance Course to include
    • Background Check
    • Code of Conduct
    • Understanding, Recognizing and Reporting the Maltreatment of Children
    • Affidavit of Good Moral Character
  • Must be well-respected in the cheerleading, dance, band and/or song/pom industry.
  • Judges will be informed that any behavior deemed to be unsupportive of Varsity Spirit’s mission may be factored into the final selection of judges.

In addition to the regional event standards these additional criteria will be used when selecting our National Championship Judges.

  • Preferred to have judged or will judge 2 or more “Regional” type events during the 2022-2023 season.
  • Preferred to have been a judge or equitable experience for at least 3 years.

Judge Selection – Example Conflicts of Interest

Providing accurate, fair, and unbiased feedback for our customers is one of our top priorities.  With that said, our selected panel of judges must have no affiliation with teams in a division they are scheduled to judge.

Example of potential Conflicts of Interest:

  • Current Coach and/or Choreographer
  • Former Coach and/or Choreographer and/or Athlete
    • Must be 5 years out from any program
    • Must not have had any contact with a team this season
    • Did not go to any practices or performances in the last 5 years
  • Married / Partner / Dating / Related to coach
  • Parent of an athlete on a team

Due to the size of our National Championships, judge’s with conflicts may be selected. Every effort will be made to ensure that a judge with a potential Conflict of Interest is not scheduled to judge that team or school’s divisions.

Scoring & Legality Review Process

2022-2023 Scoring Review Process & Legality Review Process:

Judge Directory

2022-2023 Judge Directory:
Coming Soon

Interested in Judging?

Interested in Judging? Click HERE to fill out our 2024-2025 Judge Interest form.